Spotlight On: creative endeavours

Division 5 has been finding all sorts of creative things to do these days. It’s so nice to see what Quilchena students are getting up to with more free time at home.

Ethan has been building Lego, and then capturing his creations in his artwork:

Emma collected interesting elements from nature and arranged them in an artistic scene:

Wonderful to see the creative ways to show your imaginations.

The eve of our return to a new way of being together

Greetings Quilchena families,

I hope that you are all healthy and that you are finding ways to be calm and joyful these days. This is a very strange time we are living through right now and there are so many different ways to react; we may experience many of those different reactions all in one day!

As we navigate the next few days and weeks, you will hear from classroom teachers and from Mrs Sleep. You can also stay tuned here for links to activities, conversation starters, and other helpful connections to our learning community.

You will hear from your classroom teacher by the end of this week. In the mean time, start getting up at a regular time each day and follow a basic schedule (that includes getting dressed and eating regular meals 😉) and KEEP READING.

I’m looking forward to the interesting things we will discover as our attention is focused in different ways over the next few months. Please reach out if you are struggling: hearts are open.

take care, and stay tuned.

Tips for Reading Aloud: March edition

Image result for parents reading booksThere is something extra special about sharing a beloved book from our childhood with our own small people. There are a number of picture books from when I was little (early 80s) that are still in print today.

It is always a good idea to preview a book before beginning to read it aloud. In the case of a book we remember fondly from childhood, the preview isn’t so much about making sure the text works well as a read-aloud, but rather to screen it against the test of time. The fact is that some books, despite our fondest memories, do not age well. When read today, to today’s young audience, a number of “classics” are rather jarring in their treatment of diverse characters (read: they are sexist and racist.)

Image result for reading AND together OR kids OR parents

Sometimes we can change words on the fly, if we encounter a problematic term and it’s fairly isolated. Other times the prejudice becomes so thick, so quickly, that the best thing we can do is to stop reading and show our authentic dislike of the text; talk about why the prejudice is not okay as well as how you remember reading the book as a child (when it wasn’t something that stuck out as inappropriate) and isn’t it great that we can see a tangible example of how we are getting better as a society?

Keep sharing your favourite stories with the young people in your life.

Happy reading!

Tips for reading aloud: December edition

Image result for longest night bauerI read The Longest Night by Marion Bauer to many of my classes this week in preparation for the winter solstice on Saturday. Each time, I turned off the lights over the story-time area of the library to simulate the dark and quiet of the longest night of the year.
The resulting atmosphere was very effective to invoke the rich wintery shadows of the illustrations as well as to highlight the sense of the animals calling out into the night.

Sometimes setting up the environment with a simple change can be an easy way to enrich our read aloud by infusing our listener’s atmospheric experience.

Grade One Tips for Student Success

This post is primarily for families with a child in grade one, but of course will be interesting and helpful to caregivers of all Quilchena students.

Our grade one teachers are Mme Bouchet , Mme Megan, and Ms Petrenko. These tips support their programs, built their years of experience teaching 6- and 7-year-olds.


Sleep: it is extremely important for children to get enough sleep as it directly impacts their mental and physical development.

          • Make sure that students have a regular bedtime–even on weekends– that allows them to get at least ten hours of sleep a night.
          • Thirty to sixty minutes before bedtime, all technology is turned off, and it’s time for reading and quiet music.
          • Ensure the bedroom is dark, except for a night light, and no TV is allowed in the room.

Core strength: children who have less core strength have a hard time sitting still at desks and find it harder to sustain focus on active learning.

(From Jamie Spencer’s blog, Miss Jamie, OT)
Some indicators of poor core strength:

          • Does your child change positions frequently?
          • Do they lean on the desktop?
          • Slump over?
          • W Sit?
          • Have difficulty paying attention?
          • Use their “helping hand” to prop themselves up?
          • Do they always lean on the wall, the couch, or you?
          • Are they struggling to ride a bike or tie their shoes?

If the answer is yes, then it’s very likely that the child has poor core strength. Sometimes we are expecting too much of a child who simply doesn’t have the strength in their musculature to sit up for more than a few minutes. So they lean, slump, or fidget to try to get comfortable.

How to help develop core strength:

          • Pumping legs to swing on a swing
          • Walking, running, or biking to school
          • Climbing on playground equipment
          • Yoga, Karate, and Swimming
          • Riding a bike
          • Climbing trees
          • Obstacle courses that you crawl through
          • Crawling through tunnels
          • Skateboarding, rollerskating, using a scooter board or razor scooter
          • Chores that require heavy lifting: carrying laundry, groceries, etc.
          • Chores that involve pushing/pulling: shoveling snow, sweeping, etc.

Students learn at different rates and in different ways, but these tips will support all our learners in being happy and healthy at school.